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Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:01 pm
by FrankyDoodleDandy
hi all,

this is my second time applying to HLS. i filled out the application and sent it last year, but wound up not being able to send my CAS report. i received a rejection in the spring and was told that in this app i need to indicate that this is my second time.

i am currently at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where i am getting a masters in education and politics. i will likely get two As, an A-, and a B+/B this semester. HGSE is not as prestigious within the graduate schools at harvard (appx. 50% acceptance rate), but i have been told that being at harvard gives you a much better shot of getting in. i am involved in one student organization.

before that, i was an undergrad at a top 25 school. i started at a top 40 school where i had a 3.52 gpa (due to illness). after, i transferred to the top 25 school and wound up with a 3.91. i am not sure what my lsac gpa would be--i haven't submitted my transcripts to lsac yet--but i would appreciate any insight into what people think it might be. at the second school, i was a dean's list student and got academic awards. i also participated in a few clubs and was the head of two, so had pretty average extracurriculars.

i have not taken the lsat, but i took the gre once. i scored a 158 verbal, 153 math, 5.5 writing. i am going to re-take it in a few weeks and try to score around a 161 in both sections and maybe a 6 on the writing if i can.

my personal statement is good, and my joint-degree statement is good. my diversity statement is probably the strongest--i am southeast asian and i talk about my experiences as a south east asian person in america.

so... what are my chances?

also:
(1) is it true that being at harvard already boosts your odds of getting in?
(2) does having a very strong personal statement make up for the fact that my gre/gpa aren't necessarily in the 75th percentile for harvard?
(3) will they compare my last year's application to this year's? like, will they dig out my essay from last year and check it against this year's?
(4) i was told that if you don't reach a certain gpa/gre threshold, they won't bother reading your essays (unless you're a urm). is that true?

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:24 am
by Stranger
As for GPA thresholds, those are quite apparent from Harvard applicant data on LSN. You basically want above a 3.7, and even that is for 99th percentile LSAT scores. Below that, it appears to be a higher GPA requirement.

I have no data on the other three questions, but would be shocked if the strength of your PS and your graduate program made a big difference in those numerical thresholds.

We don't have any useful information on GRE acceptances as a community, but the numbers you're talking about aiming for sound low to me. ETS has an online tool for comparing GRE scores to the LSAT, and while I'm skeptical of its predictive value, it gives the combo comparable to a Harvard-median 173 to be 167/167. Your current scores on file compare to a 160.

Your chances look grim. But we don't have any real data about you, like your calculated uGPA or a test score we have real data on. I wish I had something better to tell you, but you probably need to take the LSAT and get your transcripts to LSAC.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:12 am
by ymmv
Stranger wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:24 am
I wish I had something better to tell you, but you probably need to take the LSAT and get your transcripts to LSAC.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:00 am
by pancakes3
+1 to above, and also you probably shouldn't fixate on HLS.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:55 pm
by emkay625
FrankyDoodleDandy wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:01 pm
hi all,

this is my second time applying to HLS. i filled out the application and sent it last year, but wound up not being able to send my CAS report. i received a rejection in the spring and was told that in this app i need to indicate that this is my second time.

i am currently at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where i am getting a masters in education and politics. i will likely get two As, an A-, and a B+/B this semester. HGSE is not as prestigious within the graduate schools at harvard (appx. 50% acceptance rate), but i have been told that being at harvard gives you a much better shot of getting in. i am involved in one student organization.

before that, i was an undergrad at a top 25 school. i started at a top 40 school where i had a 3.52 gpa (due to illness). after, i transferred to the top 25 school and wound up with a 3.91. i am not sure what my lsac gpa would be--i haven't submitted my transcripts to lsac yet--but i would appreciate any insight into what people think it might be. at the second school, i was a dean's list student and got academic awards. i also participated in a few clubs and was the head of two, so had pretty average extracurriculars.

i have not taken the lsat, but i took the gre once. i scored a 158 verbal, 153 math, 5.5 writing. i am going to re-take it in a few weeks and try to score around a 161 in both sections and maybe a 6 on the writing if i can.

my personal statement is good, and my joint-degree statement is good. my diversity statement is probably the strongest--i am southeast asian and i talk about my experiences as a south east asian person in america.

so... what are my chances?

also:
(1) is it true that being at harvard already boosts your odds of getting in?
(2) does having a very strong personal statement make up for the fact that my gre/gpa aren't necessarily in the 75th percentile for harvard?
(3) will they compare my last year's application to this year's? like, will they dig out my essay from last year and check it against this year's?
(4) i was told that if you don't reach a certain gpa/gre threshold, they won't bother reading your essays (unless you're a urm). is that true?


On GPA: How many hours did you have at school 1 versus school 2? We can't answer this otherwise.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:39 pm
by FrankyDoodleDandy
Spent 1.5 years at first school (though I was abroad one of the semesters), and 2.5 years at the other

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:37 am
by Stranger
My back of the envelope math says you should be over the GPA floor. Now you just need an elite test score to go with it.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:47 am
by emkay625
Stranger wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:37 am
My back of the envelope math says you should be over the GPA floor. Now you just need an elite test score to go with it.
Agreed. If you took a similar number of hours each semester, should be around 3.75 - 3.8. But as others have said, you'll need a stellar test score, too.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:44 pm
by FrankyDoodleDandy
emkay625 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:47 am
Stranger wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:37 am
My back of the envelope math says you should be over the GPA floor. Now you just need an elite test score to go with it.
Agreed. If you took a similar number of hours each semester, should be around 3.75 - 3.8. But as others have said, you'll need a stellar test score, too.
So, to clarify: a 3.75 can get me into HLS? Because their 50th says 3.9, which was making me pretty nervous...

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:12 pm
by cavalier1138
FrankyDoodleDandy wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:44 pm
So, to clarify: a 3.75 can get me into HLS? Because their 50th says 3.9, which was making me pretty nervous...
A 3.75 can get you into HLS if and only if you have a high LSAT. For Harvard, that means 173+.

As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, your best bet is to not fixate on Harvard.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:20 pm
by George Marshall
cavalier1138 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:12 pm
FrankyDoodleDandy wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:44 pm
So, to clarify: a 3.75 can get me into HLS? Because their 50th says 3.9, which was making me pretty nervous...
A 3.75 can get you into HLS if and only if you have a high LSAT. For Harvard, that means 173+.

As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, your best bet is to not fixate on Harvard.
+1
You can use 25th/medians/75ths as a guideline. If you're below the 25th on GPA, you want to shoot for at or above 75th on LSAT for a decent shot. So, 175+.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:58 am
by dcc617
I got in with a 3.72 and a 176, for what it’s worth.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:36 am
by emkay625
What everyone else has said. Is it possible to get in with a 3.75? Yes. But everything else needs to be absolutely stellar to pull it off.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:58 am
by Borges_and_barbells
In with 3.79/175. It looks like 3.7+/174+ is the magic ticket this year.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:01 am
by HelloYesThisIsDog
Borges_and_barbells wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:58 am
In with 3.79/175. It looks like 3.7+/174+ is the magic ticket this year.
Congrats, but this is a random thread to share this in. Isn't there a general Harvard 2018-19 cycle thread?

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:52 pm
by George Marshall
HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:01 am
Borges_and_barbells wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:58 am
In with 3.79/175. It looks like 3.7+/174+ is the magic ticket this year.
Congrats, but this is a random thread to share this in. Isn't there a general Harvard 2018-19 cycle thread?
I think they shared it here and necro'd this thread because of the above convo on whether a 3.75 is good enough for H.

Re: Odds at Acceptance to HLS?

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:50 am
by Borges_and_barbells
George Marshall wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:52 pm
HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:01 am
Borges_and_barbells wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:58 am
In with 3.79/175. It looks like 3.7+/174+ is the magic ticket this year.
Congrats, but this is a random thread to share this in. Isn't there a general Harvard 2018-19 cycle thread?
I think they shared it here and necro'd this thread because of the above convo on whether a 3.75 is good enough for H.
Yea I didn't realize I necro'd it. I was giving my example and noting that 3.7 is definitely good enough for Harvard if you can hit a 174.